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Yikes! Corporate prostitution in Holland!

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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:34 AM
Original message
Yikes! Corporate prostitution in Holland!
I just saw a fascinating piece on Link t.v. about the status of "legal" prostitution in Holland. I use italics because in some communities the houses of prostitution are totally accepted. But in others brothels are harassed out of business by the "tax man". The women seemed pretty much o.k. with the situation, and the establishments, which are often described as "sex clubs" were beautifully maintained and even cozy. Taxes were a huge issue, though, as the women are frequently "anonymous" but still have to pay their fair share. One of the accountants they use even stated that the government was the women's "pimp"!

While legalization seems to have produced a much safer and less exploitative working environment for women, there are still problems. Because of the huge profits and the fact that its now a legit business, corporations are taking over the smaller "mom and pop" brothels (believe it or not!). Just like the family farm situation in this country, these little enterprises can't compete with the big guys.

If this corporatization of prostitution continues to grow, and there's no reason to believe it won't, I fear the women may start to suffer real abuse. Yes, these are human beings not animals, and the Dutch seem vigilant in protecting their rights, but when the drive for money takes over, there's no telling what might happen. Metaphors like "meat market" and "piece of meat" demonstrate how human beings tend to subconsciously link anonymous sex with livestock. Desperate women could be forced to do whatever the boss wanted if the "Walmart of sex clubs" monopolized the business. Plus, apparently, this trend of legalization and corporatization is being experimented with in Denmark. The huge profits will no doubt lead to this policy sweeping Europe, under the facade of humanitarianism. While human rights and improving the lot of prostitutes is certainly part of the rationale, the lure of fortunes to be made may be the real driving force. I can just see Tyson Foods creating an "Amsterdam" project, transfering its knowledge about the mass production and warehousing of poultry into a brand new European market.

Anyway, I'm not sure how I feel about the legalization of prostitution. Dutch activists against prostitution stated that legalization only gives a phony veneer to what continues to be the degradation of women. On the other hand, resources going to police victimless crime are saved, and there is government oversight, through inspections and spot raids, to make sure minors and illegals are not being exploited. It's a very complicated situation, that's for sure.
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Brooklyn-Mecca Donating Member (17 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. This...
...type of corporate exploitation seems like the most concrete reason to keep prostitution illegal.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. if prevention of corporate exploitation is any reason
to make this illegal, then maybe we should make everything illegal.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Or maybe we should not allow corporations to become so powerful
For the sake of every living thing.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I second that!


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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. you're missing that the women are unionized
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